Stroke Program

Know the Warning Signs of a Stroke

Stroke is an emergency. Call 911 if you or a loved one has signs of a stroke. Do not drive yourself, and go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Don’t let a stroke mean the end of your independence and quality of life. The team at Memorial Health System offers comprehensive care — from diagnosis and treatment to follow-up care. We have the expertise, technology, and resources to minimize damage, help recover your health and functioning, and make the most of your capabilities so you can get back to your life.

Lake Charles Memorial is a Primary Stroke Center

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Stroke Certification. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

The Joint Commission measured Memorial against national standards for the care of stroke patients including: door to CT scan time, how quickly patients received tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) – a clot-busting medication, how quickly patients are transferred who need clot retrieval procedures, and the quality of care administered within those time frames and through discharge. Memorial met these guideline standards thanks to the interdisciplinary team’s use and development of written care protocols, education programs, quality reviews and performance improvement activities across the health system.

Symptoms of a Stroke: BE FAST!

  • Balance unstable
  • Eyesight blurry
  • Facial weakness
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech slurred
  • Time is Critical. Call 911!

A stroke happens when poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. It only takes a few minutes for cells to start dying, so time is critical. A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability or even death.

Types of Strokes & Risk Factors

There are two types of stroke — ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is by far the most common and happens when an artery that supplies blood to part of the brain becomes blocked, often by a blood clot. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures (bursts). The pressure from the leaked blood damages brain cells. High blood pressure and aneurysms are often the cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

Your risk for stroke is higher if you:

  • Have high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Have a lot of fat around your abdomen
  • Have diabetes
  • Are not physically active
  • Have an unhealthy diet
  • Have more than 30 drinks per month
  • Have heart disease
  • Are depressed or under great stress
  • Have migraine headaches

Women may be at higher risk if they:

  • Are pregnant
  • Take birth control pills
  • Use hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Symptoms can depend on the part of the brain that is affected. Classic symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes

Women may not always have the classic signs of a stroke, so symptoms can be mistaken for something else. Our team is highly experienced in recognizing and treating strokes in women.

Women’s symptoms can be vague and may include:

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • General weakness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
  • Sudden behavioral change
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups

If blood flow to part of the brain is only temporarily blocked, the result is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke.” We provide comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and care for TIA, and will take steps to help prevent strokes in your future.

Click here to learn more about Memorial's TeleStroke Program.